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Kansas! (cont.)

Monday June 6: Day off with Orlando and Maxine Fast, in Newton, KS

We had a fabulous day off, staying with Arlen's parents, Orlando and Maxine Fast. They opened their home to us and welcomed us in, fed us like kings and really included us in their family. We did a bit of shopping on Monday morning in Wichata, then returned to Newton to do laundry, food shopping, fix bikes and visit with the Fasts. Maxine cooked a wonderful dinner both nights, but Monday night she invited Stan and Vi to come to dinner as well. Vi's daughter is Anne Edinger, Arlen's wife. As you can see from the pictures, we had a wonderful visit and meal, enjoyed meeting Stan and Vi, and were well rested and ready to continue our trip by Tuesday morning. Thanks again to Orlando and Maxine for being such wonderful hosts.

Orlando, Stan and John making ice cream for dinner
Annie working on bikes, but more interested in ice cream!
Stan and Orlando cleaning the ice cream batter

 

Maxine picked cherries for a cherry sauce
Orlando and Maxines garden
Dinner with Maxine, Vi, Stan and Orlando
John sings a few folk songs after dinner

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Tuesday June 7: Newton to Eureka, KS

Breakfast with the Fasts was a delight, as was every other meal they fed us. We reluctantly left the Fasts and headed east. We had a fairly strong south wind all day, which for the most part was on our right shoulders, but for 19 miles after Cassoday was directly in front of us, providing a little extra challenge. Cassoday is the Prarie Chicken Capital (self proclaimed), and we did see a couple of prarie chickens off beside the road on the way into town. Just south of town we saw a big herd of wild horses, which a local store owner tells us are subsidized (e.g. fed) by our US tax dollars.

After we made our way south to Rt. 54 and turned east, we climbed to a high spot where we took a short rest, seen below. As we headed down the hill, we met Greg and Ben coming up. They started in Virginia, and are headed for Astoria, OR on the TransAmerica trail. They have their own web site HERE. Greg and Ben were headed to Cassoday, and were considering riding in the evening or night to try to avoid some of the winds. We wish them a safe trip west.

Orlando demonstrates how to get the kernals of wheat from the wheat stalks
The Cassoday Cafe, where we stopped in for drinks at lunch time
Signs on the Cassoday Cafe indicate it is best to wipe your feet before entering
Flowers beside the road
View from a rise about 7 miles west of Eureka on Hwy 54
Greg and Ben are west bound, heading for Astoria, OR, and looking good on a tough climb on a hot day (90+)

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Wednesday June 8: Eureka to Chanute, KS

Hot was the word for today. It started hot, and then it warmed up. We had a south wind all day, which was sometimes beside us, sometimes in front of us, and for a short delightful section, was behind us. We are often on smaller country roads now, and we saw some pretty countryside. We passed through the Flint Hills over the last 2 days, where there is still open prairie, and where many cattle are grazed in the summer. The flood control reservoir in Toronto was quite full because recent rains and expected rains are flooding parts of Kansas. Our area has a flash flood warning, a thunderstorm and hail warning (with hail "the size of baseballs"!), and of course a tornado warning. This is exciting countryside.

John moves a turtle across the road so she won't be hit by a car. Many of her kind did not make it. Today we also saw armidillos that had been hit by cars, have not saved any yet.
The Kansas countryside is rolling here in the south east of the state.
These cows were doing what we wanted to do, given the heat.
Kai is a west-bound rider from Germany. He was headed for Eureka for the night.

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Thursday June 9: Chanute to Pittsburg, KS

This morning the forecast did not look so good. Newton, just a couple of nights back, had major rains overnight which caused significant flooding. We were in the middle of a zone calling for thundershowers and possible hail. But it also said that overnight storms had caused the atmosphere around us to become 'stable', so maybe it would not be so bad. We set out at about 8:30 in a slight drizzle.

The day turned out much better than the start. It stayed overcast for much of the day, which was fine for us because it was not nearly as hot as the previous two days. The rain slowed to a stop, and the roads dryed up. We had a fairly stiff south wind, which was beside us much of the day, but also in front of us for a few sections as we notched our way south and east towards Pittsburgh.

Just north and east of Brazilton, KS we spotted a nice Lutheran church lawn where we thought we could stop for lunch. As we were dismounting, a lady in a car turning into the church rolled down her window and told us they were having a lunch at the church, available to anyone for a small donation. The next vehicle in was a pickup truck with a local man, who said the same, and walked over to give us a real sales pitch. So in we went, and enjoyed a sumptious lunch of sausage or ham, potato salad, macaroni salad, jello salad, drinks, dessert and coffee! Our timing and location could not have been better.

After lunch we were overtaken by two bikers, Russel and Phil, who we had met briefly in Chanute, and were also headed for Pittsburg. They rode with us and chatted for awhile, then zoomed ahead. We must have passed them in Girard, because later Nana came upon them, and Russel had had a tire failure, and was disabled. Nana saved the day by letting Russel put his bike on the car, and driving him into the bike shop in Pittsburg.

Russel was also saving turtles, and between the two of us, we saved five during todays ride.

There were two different historical markers for Mission Neosho.
Annie stops to do Dew Diligence
Phil and Russel with Eric and Nana at Tailwind Cyclists

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Friday June 10: Pittsburg, KS to Everton, MO

Just one photo on leaving Kansas, the rest are on the Missouri page, click the link below.

The Bartlett Bike Riders enter Kansas on 5/31
The Bartlett Bike Riders cross the border and leave Kansas on 6/9 ...

On to Missouri

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